Raising a Colt

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Pitter Patter

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So, our baby, Jasper is now 5 weeks old. He is sweet and lovable (and sometimes naughty!). We have to transfer him and his mother to another area daily (have two foal-napping mares) and we use mother on a lead to help encourage him to follow us, however being a "toddler" he is into everything! He is also fairly brave and starting to stray farther from his mother daily. I know I have to teach him to follow, use a halter, etc. I've watched Cuyose's (sp?) video to start with a lead around his butt/back legs coming around his sides. Using light pressure he often yields but not consistently. I haven't found a halter for his size yet, which isn't helping! So, any advice is appreciated! This little guy may be my therapy horse in the long run, but we will see. Would love to teach him to drive (but I don't know how to do that yet either--we are growing together!) He is very affectionate and stubborn. What age do people generally start training? What methods are there? I continue to touch him all over and he loves it. Where do I start? Any advice for newbie colt owner? Thanks!
 

Taz

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I use an alpaca halter when they're little. You don't want to leave it on him ever in case he gets caught in it , just put it on when you are moving him. I don't remember what I did with Oliver but I tied a tiny rope halter for Fin when that got too small. You have to be very careful about hurting they're necks so I use a lead and make it like a figure 8 instead of just a bum rope. Hold the end of the lead, put the other end around his chest then over his back and around his bum. Keep that in one hand at his withers(kind of like walking a suitcase in wheels next to you) with the front low on his chest if possible, the lead attached to his halter in the other hand and off you go. Way harder to coordinate in the beginning than you are even thinking. It will help you move him forward and slow him down without pulling on the halter. Make sure there is no pressure when he is walking where you want him. Be ready for him to blow forward sometimes, they are small but mighty. Mine both learned to lead great that way. I hope that makes sense. Anyone else have a better/easier way? Oh, light pressure is best but if you need to just drag him along for a step or two before you release pressure.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Once you find a halter for him, attach a lead to him and tie it to his mom's halter, then take them for walks. He'll tend to want to walk with her and it will teach him about pressure and release. You can do that now.
Another idea... You can pass the foal's lead rope through the mare's halter to teach him pressure release. This way, you lead both mare and foal at the same time. I sometimes do this with my girls when I need to lead them in pairs to the barn together.
 

Pitter Patter

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Thanks to all for the advice! I am SO ready to try tying him to his mother after today! Before leaving for work I brought them both out of their stall to go into their "yard", which is across from the others quite a bit. Every day he has followed his mom with a few excursions along the way, but has always gone into the yard without an issue. Today he suddenly gave me a run for the money!! I was late for work, trying not to get frustrated and lose any ground we already had (or maybe I only THOUGHT we had...). Ended up asking my much more agile son to catch him and get him into the yard and he did but he didn't have a good time with that either. He went back to the two mares and slipped under the gate and tried mounting Patches! She gave him a very gentle kick and then he went to the next one, who then tried to steal him again...So I brought mama back to go get her baby and started all over again. What a fiasco! I think tonight's activity is going to be a short walk tied to his mother. YAY!
 

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